Florida is a state of diverse climates and landscapes, from the swamps of the Everglades to the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. With its temperate climate and high rainfall, Central Florida is an ideal place to grow native plants. From giant grasses to colorful shrubs, there are many native plants that thrive in Central Florida wetlands. The USDA has developed “plant hardiness zones” that represent the lowest annual temperatures in an area.
The zones range from 1a (the coldest) to 13b (the hottest). Florida's hardiness zones range from 8a in the northwest to 11a in the southeast. It is important to know the hardiness zone in your area and always make sure that a plant is suitable for your area before buying it. Otherwise, the plants could freeze and die in winter.
Sugarcane Plume (Saccharum giganteum) and Giant Fox Tail (Setaria magna) are two of Florida's native giant grasses. Shorter pastures, such as Damsel (Panicum hemitomon) and Gnarled One (Polygonum spp.), are also popular choices for Central Florida wetlands. The official wildflower of the Sunshine State is the Tick Flower, with more than 100 different species and cultivars available. Most tick flowers are bright yellow with a brown ring around the center, and they bloom in spring and summer.
American Berry is a delightfully colorful shrub that is native to Florida. With its fourth highest biodiversity in the United States and third highest number of species classified as threatened or endangered by the United States, Florida is home to many unique plants.
Oakleaf Hydrangeais a shrub that grows best in full shade, making it perfect for planting under large trees. The Manta Flower, both common and lanceolate varieties, is native to North and Central Florida.
These flowers can be used as ground cover or planted along with other wildflowers in a garden.
Botonwoodis a versatile plant that can be kept small like a shrub, grown into a tall ornamental tree, or planted in a row as a privacy hedge. It can tolerate full sun or partial shade, making it an ideal choice for Central Florida wetlands.
Milkweed, with its many colored flowers, is another popular choice for Central Florida wetlands.
Unfortunately, many native plant species are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss, so it is important to choose plants that are native to Florida and have adapted to survive in the local climate.